Ringo Starr’s favourite song by The Beatles to perform live

As much as Ringo Starr loves being positioned behind a set of drums, he’s a born performer who treasures being in the limelight at the front of the stage. With The Beatles, his chances were limited at showcasing his skill set, but whenever Starr had his opportunity, he enjoyed every second of the moment.

While The Beatles were the Fab Four, they didn’t act democratically, especially at the start of their careers. The focus was primarily on Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who were the face of the band and also acted as their chief songwriters. Although George Harrison later came into a life of his own as a writer, it took time, and initially, he was living off scraps with Ringo.

During the later period of The Beatles’ career, Harrison’s role grew with each record, and by the end, he was indispensable as a songwriter. For Ringo, meanwhile, although he did write the occasional song for the band, the drummer still largely relied on his bandmates to guide his material.

On their first album, Please Please Me, Starr chose to record a cover of ‘Boys’ by The Shirelles for his vocal contribution to the LP. The song only took a single take to nail down, and during the same day, the band miraculously managed to complete the recording process for multiple songs.

For their fans, ‘Boys’ was an introduction to Ringo as a singer, and during their concerts, he enjoyed nothing more than whipping out his party piece to their adoring audiences. Although it was never released as a single by the band, performing the track was a highlight for Starr, who revealed it as his favourite song to play.

Explaining his decision to Vulture, Starr said: “‘Boys’. I’ve been doing it forever and it’s a girl’s song. A wonderful girl group called the Shirelles did the original. I was performing it with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes before the Beatles, and it just rocks. It makes me smile that I’m still doing this song after all these years.”

Meanwhile, McCartney fondly said of ‘Boys’ in Anthology: “Ringo always used to do a song in the show. Back then he had ‘Boys’. It was a little embarrassing because it went, ‘I’m talking about boys – yeah, yeah – boys’. It was a Shirelles hit and they were girls singing it, but we never thought we should call it ‘Girls’, just because Ringo was a boy. We just sang it the way they’d sung it and never considered any implications.”

When The Beatles first began touring, ‘Boys’ was a staple in their sets and in total, they performed the musical number live on 129 occasions from 1963 until 1964. Since hitting the road with his All-Star Band, Starr has brought the song back to life and played it over 700 times, signifying his adoration for the track.

Watch the footage below of Ringo Starr performing ‘Boys’ at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

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